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What Makes A Good Landing Page

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#1 BillSlawski


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Posted 17 February 2008 - 07:35 PM

Some good points in the following article, but I think that we can expand upon it some, and maybe even argue over some of the points made.

13 Sure Signs Your Landing Page is a Turn-Off

I'm of the notion that almost every page can be a landing page, as long as a spider can find and index it. So, if the optimization is right, what to do to keep people on that page long enough to get them to accomplish the goal for that specific page?

#2 cre8pc


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Posted 17 February 2008 - 08:15 PM

I agree with you Bill, that every page can be a landing page. Even a contact form page :)

People arrive to web sites in many ways and keyword searches can drive them to inside pages, purposeful landing pages, homepage, articles...

To make these pages productive, they need a strong call to action prompt. By that I mean, what is the MAIN task they can do on that page? That could even be entering another part of the website. A contact form page can provide an introduction to a newsletter signup or blog feed. All landing pages can point visitors to the homepage so they can reorient themselves. Landing pages for products can point to more searches for similar products.

I've always felt landing pages are gems, for people and their needs and search engines.

#3 BillSlawski


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Posted 17 February 2008 - 08:40 PM

Landing pages are gems, Kim.

And yes, any page can be a landing page.

I have some issues with a number of points made in the article. While I think that it is very well written, it's probably worth pulling a number of those out, and exploring them a little more fully. Here are a couple from the first point:

I canít think of any reason why a landing page should exceed more than 1,000 words per product/service youíre selling.

I can think of a few. For instance, when the product being sold is an intangible one, that imparts specific legal rights that people may not be fully aware of, and the information might help them make a purchase.

It's possible, in some instances, that the landing page may help define the value of the product or service being sold. If it takes more than a 1,000 words to define that product and service, and make conversions, then go with it.

People love FAQs a lot more than they love most landing pages.

Except that they don't. Or if they do, show me some proof. :)

And a FAQ has a number of limitations in format and presentation that a well written, presentable, and readable article may not have. I like intelligently integrating information into either a product or service sales page, or an associated article that can give people interested in making an informed purchasing decision the opportunity to do so.

#4 iamlost


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Posted 17 February 2008 - 10:34 PM

Thanks for bringing this topic to Cre8 for discussion. I discarded several attempts at a Sphinn comment before giving up.

Before reviewing the named 'bad signs' I have three general comments:
1. The page that a visitor enters a site is that person's landing page. Viewing any and every page as a potential landing page is a real painful eye-opening perspective twist (metaphors-r-us).

2. The term 'conversion' can mean many more things than 'clicked an ad' or 'bought something'. It is the developer who determines what conversion action(s) are desired for each page. If there is no goal it is hard to meet it. :)

3. The only good/bad metric when designing and writing any page is whatever form converts the best - test and compare and repeat.
Which means you first must have a definition of 'convert' for that page (see point 2, above).

Ok, on to the meat...here come the B-A-D (or maybe not?):
1. It can be measured in feet.
My immediate response was the scroll forever winner of the SEOmoz landing page contest.

2. It Has Extra Special Sentences Where Every Word Begins With a Capital Letter.
While this formatting is a personal turn-off - it does work wonders in some niches in some demographics, ie. MySpace.

3. The text is centered.
There are exceptions - the author herself pointed out one, where there is one there will be more.

4. It includes minimal information about the product or service being sold.
Minimal is fine, insufficient is the problem. See my general points above.

5. Its headings are in primary colors when the surrounding design is not.
Please review answer to Bad Point #2.

I will stop at this point.
My problem is two-fold: (1) I generally agree with her dislikes which is a personal taste BUT (2) sometimes the metrics show these 'bad signs' out converting the loverly opposition (many horrible MFA pages come to mind).

There are no 'good' or 'bad' landing page turn-offs unless the metrics tell you so (good/bad taste is something else entirely).

#5 SEOigloo


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Posted 18 February 2008 - 04:17 PM

That's a really interesting article, Bill. It left me wondering whether the points given were based on real analysis of user behavior, or whether it was written more from a personal likes/dislikes.

I have watched Brian Clark's landing page makeovers in a kind of wonder. I watched SEOmoz contest eagerly. And, I've visited Aaron Wall's SEObook landing page many times to study the way it was put together. It seems like all of these fellows would disagree with what this article is saying, on many points. From an aesthetic point, I agree with the author, but the wisdom of the people I've just listed seems to point in the other direction.

One of the common suggestions about landing pages I've found difficult to swallow is that they should contain no navigation to any other page on the site (obviously, this isn't the case when, like Kim is saying, every page of the site should be a landing page, but rather, where a landing page is created in the traditional sense.) My understanding is that because the user is being given only one option - to buy, buy, buy, or sign up, or whatever - they are more inclined to fulfill that action rather than floating away from the page on a link elsewhere. But, it always looks weird to me when there is no place else to go.


#6 A.N.Onym


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Posted 18 February 2008 - 11:42 PM

There may be several kinds of landing pages. Sometimes, you only need half a page to get a sign up, if you simply provide the benefits for signing up and show some samples, testimonials, etc.

If you need to sell something from the landing page immediately, then it becomes as gargantuan as the SEO book/SEOmoz winner ones. Technically, I've heard that such pages work and I don't see how Aaron or Rand would keep them, if they didn't work.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 18 February 2008 - 11:49 PM.




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Posted 18 February 2008 - 11:47 PM

If you are doing PPC then a lot of the principles explained can apply. However, if your "landing pages" compete for SERP position then the rules change significantly as another dynamic enters the performance metric.

#8 Website Design Company

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 07:32 AM

I agree that any page can be a landing page provided:

1. It has the proper dose of relevant keywords (and specific too)

2. The important phrases and words are highlighted (to help readers scan the content of the page)

3. The layout, background color, font and navigation are easy to use and aesthetic.

#9 Black_Knight


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Posted 22 July 2008 - 12:41 PM

It is important, if not essential, to understand one of the best performing landing pages ever created.

This one.

That particular landing page changed the virtual business world forever, has an insanely high conversion rate, and gathered links and viral marketing and WOM from around the world to thrash the power of all of the high-spending advertisers in the field. Its so good in fact, that millions of people decide to keep it as a homepage.

Keywords were not an issue.

Aesthetics were not an issue.

Customer centric is what matters. Being the very best people have seen, to the extent that you cause wonder and inspire remarkable comments, works.

#10 Laura Varon

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 10:48 PM

Aside from the fact that a landing page is simply not allowed to have messed-up text and content of dubious quality, something that is very important, pior to the content itself, is the visual layout. It cannot be stressed enough that you have to watch out for crammed-looking website contents, full of brightness and distractions in the forms of funny gifs and flashes of color. Not to mention that when a landing page takes forever to load thanks to said funny gifs and flashes of color... welll, it tends to become a DEPARTURE page, which people will be hesitant about returning to ever again.

Good content is key. But good design is VITAL!

#11 copywriter


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Posted 24 July 2009 - 04:19 PM

Just as "landing page" is not a generic term (or at least it shouldn't be), the audience for a landing page is also not generic.

How a page is constructed and written depends on many different factors including:

*familiarity with product/service
*necessary education of the reader
*price of product/service
*the target customer
*and many others

The longer pages do work. I'll be honest, sales letters and similar styles of copy are not my favorite. But I've tested enough on the site that sells my copywriting course to have proof that - for products like these - long copy pulls better than short copy.

What if a lawyer were running PPC ads? Or a CPA? Or some other professional services firm? Chances are, they wouldn't want/need this style of copy. Digital camera landing pages will require a lot of content, but not in the same voice as a sales letter.

Like most other things involved with copywriting, you have to test and track to see what will work best for your particular situation.

#12 Laura Varon

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 09:44 PM

I wanted to add this to the conversation, just for kicks.

It made me chuckle.

#13 copywriter


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Posted 25 July 2009 - 12:52 PM

I designed that site for my sister. Everyone here said it was great


#14 AbleReach


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Posted 25 July 2009 - 05:41 PM

That's OK, Walter. I still don't get it. You don't have to be funny any more.

#15 fisicx


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Posted 27 July 2009 - 06:16 AM

...something that is very important, pior to the content itself, is the visual layout... Good content is key. But good design is VITAL!

I've use some sites with appaling layouts but because the content is pure gold I stick with them.

Good design begins with the content not the layout. The layout is a product of the content and navigation not the other way round.

#16 A.N.Onym


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Posted 27 July 2009 - 06:43 AM

But you can put the same content in different layouts (lists and short, clear call to actions fit both in the content and in the sidebars).

In the end, it's about testing what works better for your vistiors, though. There's no one thing that's more important, than others: you have to get all things right for maximum results.

#17 glyn


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Posted 27 July 2009 - 06:53 AM

"Keywords were not an issue. Aesthetics were not an issue."

Good point BK.

What made this landing page so succesful was its positioning in the marketplace against what the competitors were doing at the time.

If everyone else had done a Google, then it wouldn't have worked. WE can therefore say that a good landing page needs to look different and stand out from the rest.

Looking through the page of suggestions I can't help but say that Good English, Good Design, and Common sense prevail on landing pages.

#18 Ovi


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Posted 29 September 2009 - 08:10 AM

A very good grammar, an eye catchy design, as much possible do not use graphic but html color, so it's load quickly.

#19 prestonguyton


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Posted 05 August 2010 - 12:24 PM

Good Landing page should be optimized for specific keywords for SEO. Customers does not have much time to read long paragraphs so landing page should have good bullet point and very specific information. Banner which can explain the overall benefit or answers the common "W" questions about what the landing page is all about. Customer Video Testimonials, any case study or article would be great on landing page. Landing page should convert visitors into customers. :cheers:

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